Uncle Bob's Words

Words, poetry, stuff like that

Archive for the month “February, 2013”

Back when I was running

Back when I was running, I rose early (still do)

At 4.

I’d make coffee.  Feed the cats.

I’d head out by 4:30 into the cool predawn.

I avoided lights.  I needed my night vision.

Red lights are okay, greens kill night sight.

I knew a street void of traffic signals,

High and flat, cozy homes a yard away.

A friendly dog occasionally

Would join me for a block or two,

Then, lifting his head at me,

He’d peel off to other pursuits.

And I, in the rising dawn, would think of pancakes

And bacon

And run back home.


When I was a kid, my stepdad took me to his church,

A primitive Baptist church, out in the country.

Just one naked bulb, hanging down, lit the place.


The singing went okay, since I knew some of the hymns.

Then the preacher, thin and grim, took to the pulpit.

He slowly wound himself up, and then let fly.


His reedy voice gained volume and he began to gyrate

And gesticulate, punctuating phrases with a loud Ha!

I though he was nuts.  He scared me.  Scared me.


But the congregation really got it all, aiding and abetting.

I didn’t realize it then that those who live by their voice

Make its use a performance piece; ecstatic call-and-response.


It spun higher and tighter, people dancing wildly, hands up.

Glossolalia, jerking, fainting, being saved, madness,

Or what I thought was madness, but was just a release.


[At Gettysburg, it’s told, the man who spoke before Lincoln did

Spin out a real stemwinder, but Lincoln spoke just briefly.

And the crowd went, ‘Wait! What?”  The heart heeds a quiet voice.]


Oh, and young people generally shouldn’t be exposed

To batshit crazy Baptist preachers.  I believe that.

It was a glancing blow

It was a glancing blow

To my ego.

I am

Not hurt.


Criticism meant well

Does no damage

To me

At all.


Indifference, now that’s

A knife thrust in

My heart.

Poor thing.


Many have been the times

When I’ve been madder than dammit.

Ninety-nine percent of them

I can’t remember why.  Dammit.

Long gone.


I was in control, just.

The mindfulness helped a lot.

But a this later date,

I’ll have the opioid.

Thank you.


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